The Long Way Round – Log One

Hello there fellow Steelfolk

So, in January Alisdair and I were talking about Sport Relief and what we could do for it and went through all the permutations we could think of like running the Sport Relief Mile to like dying our hair, shaving our legs or sitting in a bath of beans but thought perhaps we could do something different, something uniquely Scottish and something that involved the SPL as a whole.

Inspired by Ewan MacGregor and Charlie Boorman’s UNICEF epic journey The Long Way Round I thought maybe we could do something like that, and of course the most logical way to do this would be to go around all the SPL clubs in a couple of days and get them all involved. I put it to Al and we bashed around logistics until we decided we could do it over the Easter Weekend. As a result of the distances required – a round route starting in Motherwell and ending up back there takes just shy of 600 – we decided we’d need a bit of a support crew, so enlisted the help of our partners to help with admin, driving, sponsorship and the like. I also was lucky enough to know a very clever graphic designer, and I got him to design our Long Way Round logo.

Looking at the Sport Relief site, we realised we could have a bespoke “giving” page, and this really cemented our plans, and we found this to be the cleanest way of raising sponsorship – it meant that on the whole we didn’t have to actually handle cash, and people could donate at any time of the day or night directly to Sport Relief.

So, with our idea in place, I set about working with the football teams to see what was what. On the whole, their response was fantastic. Of course, with us being Motherwell FC based, we contacted Leeann Dempster at Motherwell and she immediately jumped on board. With Leeann committed, most of the other clubs keenly agreed too – our idea is simple, to go around the clubs and get our photo taken outside them, or with a player/member of staff to prove we were their when we said we were. As of Tuesday 3rd April, all but three SPL clubs have agreed to be involved, and we’re in the final planning stages.Even Rangers, with their on off-field troubles, were happy to take part.

We’ve contacted some local businesses too to see if they can help. The Well Shop at Fir Park were very happy to get involved, and Alan there donated two first team shirts to Alisdair and I to wear on the day – here’s me getting presented with them. Remember there’s a great sale on down there right now, and it really is the best place to get all your Well related items. You can buy online too HERE, if you can’t get up.

Ed with Alan from The Well Shop

So how is The Long Way Round going to work? Well, dead straight forward. We leave from Motherwell on Easter Sunday, and then head into Glasgow for the Auld Firm, over to Paisley for St Mirren and then down to Ayrshire and Kilmarnock. From there, we’ll head over to Edinburgh and Hearts and then to Hibs where Motherwell are playing. We’ll finish our first day in the sunny Kingdom of Fife at East End Park then travel on to Dundee where we will stay overnight. On Easter Monday, we’ll head to Tannadice, up the coast to Aberdeen and the guys at Pittodrie and over the Eastern Highlands to Inverness Caley Thistle. It struck me when we were there it might be a good idea to take a detour to Dingwall and see our new friends at Ross County – themselves with a Motherwell connection in the form of Derek Adams – and welcome them into the SPL – and indeed those boys were keen and welcoming to get involved. From Dingwall we’ll head down the A9 and to Perth with St Johnstone and, of course, back to Fir Park later that day.

On our way, we’ll be keeping in contact with you guys as much as possible. As well as our regulation photos, we’ll try and photograph places of interested around Scotland and  we’ll be keeping you apprised on Twitter and Facebook, and we’ll end the day with a blog entry. You really will feel as much a part of this as possible. By the end of it, we’ll have a quite substantial log of our journey and the no doubt unexpected things that will happen on it. We’re equipped with smartphones, a laptop and an ipad, as well as a digital camera, so plenty of ways to get out into the WWW.

Now, whilst we’re doing all this, of course, we need YOU guys to help. You can help in two ways – firstly, spread the word – if each of you tell one person, well, by our bad maths that’s 3000 people plus who will know about it from this blog, 300 plus from FB and around 500 twitters. If even all our twitter followers gave £1 we’d now exceed £400 for Sport Relief. If you want to know why that’s so important please read THIS.

So that’s where we are. Today’s work includes finalising departure times with Motherwell, and contacting the three SPL clubs still to commit. The rest of the week involves travel logs, fuel costings and i and t dotting and crossing. It’s going to be a busy old time. We hope you get involved.

YOU CAN SPONSOR US HERE or if you want to meet us on the way, or donate in some other way, please contact us directly on voicesfromtheeaststand@live.co.uk.

Forever Claret and Amber

VFTES

The Long Way Round Podcast

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